Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Whoa Baby! (The News is Out!!)

The day has arrived. I have put it off for far too long. I have sidled around the issue, ignored the computer, made excuses, fussed, etc. But the day has finally arrived. The blog, the blog readers, the Intra-web at large--they must be told.

Dear Readers, Thomas More and I would like to introduce Wee Winter:
**Cue: tears of joy!! high-pitched screams and exclamations!!!!! fainting spells!!! Hearty pats upon back....Etc.***

I am, for those of you who would like to know, currently 15 weeks pregnant with Wee Winter, who is not so wee as he/she/it once was, measuring about 4 inches long (from crown to bum), complete with all the essential parts and pieces, fingerprints--even eyebrows. The picture above is a at 13 weeks. He/she now looks a bit like this:

15 Weeks
A-May-Zing. We went in for our first ultrasound during week thirteen and watched little Ruprecht/Hildegaard jumping around like a...like a...well, actually, kind of like Mr. Bean:

Despite the relative hugeness of the Child (if you think 4 inches is small, think again! Four months ago this kid didn't even EXIST!!), and considering the wacky moves he/she is perfecting, I have yet to see or feel much confirmation of Babe's existence. Despite the MASSIVE amounts of food I have been consuming, I have gained a meager 2 pounds, which I shouldn't complain about, I guess. "It'll come, Love, it'll come!" say the wise matriarchs of Fife (smirking into their coffee mugs).

Here is a game for you (!!!). Spot the 15 weeks pregnant Bump! ("Oh No," you say, "not ANOTHER pregnant woman bearing her gut!" And I say, "oh yes!" with only minimal shame. Being pregnant makes you do weird things.) So here's the comparison:

5 Weeks Pregnant:
15 Weeks Pregnant:
Yes, yes? There is a bump?

But seriously, about this blog, and belly pictures, and links to baby-food sights, and "How to build your Own Midcentury modern dollhouse" etc etc. I don't really want this blog to become a "baby blog" or a "mommy blog." This is not my goal or intention. I considered omitting all reference to the pregnancy, but decided that such a stupid and arbitrary omission would be problematic at best. This coming event will, after all, ROCK MY WORLD in a way it has seldom (never!) been rocked before. There's a PERSON in my belly! How, pray tell, did THAT happen?? (yes, I know HOW...but isn't that just weird that doing that results in:

Ooops--I meant...THIS:

Yes. It is a miracle (one way or the other!). So I will be posting from time to time on pregnancy/baby related topics. I will probably gloat over my hugeness (and whine about it too). I might also rant a bit about healthcare in the US of A (and how I CAN'T GET STINKING INSURED!!!) and about baby names (a long-held obsession which I am now free to indulge) and even about strollers...ug, I know. (Remember: pregnancy makes you WEIRD. Who knew I would start having NIGHTMARES about strollers???).

But just so you won't all abandon ship here and now, I promise that the next post won't be baby-related at all. Any topic suggestions? I was thinking about delving into the world of Scotch Whisky (T.More, of course, will be doing all the drinking!!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Joy is Friends and Candy Mountain!!!

Last week saw the (joyful) arrival and (sad) departure of our friends Jeff and Blake (pictured above), who came to see us all the way from the U.S. of A. Well, came to see us and the castles...and the mountains...and the *newly blooming snowdrops and winter aconite*. It was very wonderful to have these lovely men in our current place of abode, and I do hope that they enjoyed themselves. Though I was still wrestling with an annoyingly stubborn essay even into their visit, we all managed to have a wonderful time, sampling fine fish-and-chips establishments, sipping various tradition Scotch Whiskies, driving through the highlands, romping through glenns, eating in pubs, playing Euchre (hurray the Midwest), and (of course) watching youtube videos, the most important of which was this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5im0Ssyyus

Watch and you will certainly be edified.

AND here is a selection of photos for your enjoyment!!

Sunset on the night O Arrival

Jeff photographs the Small Bacons at Cambo House near where we live.
Thomas More, Marley and Cambo House Garden

The grounds at Cambo House--Gorgeous!

See!!! Snowdrops and Winter Aconite!!!

The Cambo Vale which leads to the sea...

Blake, Jeff, and Sarah frolicking in Pitlochry on the way up to the Cairngorms.

Mary of Egypt and Jeff on the suspension bridge in Pitlochry. We should be fashion models, yes??The guys and the Glenwhinnie (spelling?) Distillery in the Cairngorms--the highest distillery in Britain. Very interesting!!
Outside the Distillery in the Cairgorms.

T.More and M.of Egypt on the still-frozen Loch Eileen and Castle!

What a Stellar picture of us....ALL of us. Wow.

Advertisement for Wellington Boots.

In the Cairngorms...

Our lovely B and B. Our room had a GORGEOUS view of the mountains...I did NOT want to go home! So clean, so wonderful--and HUGE breakfast every morning. Aaahh...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Marches On...and so do I

The light is returning and so is the academic intensity. Excuse the blog laxness. I have several very good reasons for my absent-ness. I will elaborate on these later. The current most pressing excuse is an essay due next week--but due sooner for me because of Dear Friends who are coming to visit Thomas More and Myself!!! We are so very excited. And we pray for sun. And more snowdrops and winter aconite (the snowdrops are up! the winter aconites are Yellow! the sun doesn't go down until 6 PM! Is spring coming? ? ? ?)

I am writing a paper about metaphor, looking specifically at two poets, one of whom is George Mackay Brown. GMB lived almost his entire life in the Orkney Islands which are tiny and remote. He describes the people of Orkney as "fishermen with plows," but as you read his poetry you get the feeling that they are really Vikings in hiding, Vikings undergoing some sort of penance. The Last Vikings. For my post today I will include one short poems by GMB. The long poems are the best, in my opinion, but this is a lovely thing.

The Sea:
Four Elegies

The Lost

One stumbled on a grey hill, very steep.
On drank deeply, and found himself at a carousel of angels.
One whispered in the secretest cell of salt.
One (young) exchanged many untasted Aprils for a brief ecstasy.
One who had turned hundreds away from the door of The Salt
Mother knocked on her window that night, alone.
One wrote 'amen' on a spindrift page.
Were they offered for all seareft--piracy, pain of fish, the
black and gold cargoes?
A storm-ripened one went swiftly that March among
Sea-scythes, flails, winnowings.
After the third wave, the sea-querns had him.
The Atlantic was veined all summer with slow pure glitters.

****George Mackay Brown was a devout Catholic. He had a special devotion to St Magnus of Orkney, whose feast is on 16 April. I will try to remember to do a bit of a post on GMB and St. Magnus on that day!